back to article Nintendo whacked with $5m Wii strap lawsuit

Nintendo has been hit with yet another Wii-related lawsuit. This time, it’s a $5m (£3.3m/€3.7m) action filed by a US mother who claims that the console’s Remote strap design is faulty and dangerous. Wii_strap_designs Nintendo's second Remote strap design (left) and third attempt (right) According to documents filed with …

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  1. John Greenwood
    Paris Hilton

    5 Million?

    That's one expensive telly!

    Paris, 'cos she'd pay $5,000,000 for a 52-incher

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WTF

    Where does the $5m claim come from? Surely the very best she should hope for would be the cost of repair or replacement of her TV, and then only if she could prove that it wasn't caused by her or her son's own stupidity.

  3. Tim
    Stop

    the PS3 doesnt have a strap on its sixaxis.

    And i am a complete retard who throws my controller at my plasma. I also think its a good idea to let go of it so hard that it breaks the telly. I think i will sue sony because i am a bit of a biff. Who's with me? (by joining me you agree to be viewed as a similar retard).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I´m Glad.....

    ... that i trust my hand more than that little strap. Who tries to throw the Wiimote around anyway. If the little boy can´t hold the remote then i wouldn´t give it to him. It´s like giving a 2 year old your Iphone and then file a lawsuit against apple cuz the Touchscreen isn´t childproof (If the display has Blue/black stains over it afterwards).

    But anyway, i´d like to have a few millions for things that are my fault too, wouldn´t that be great?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only in America

    Can you make the stupid claim that a new 42" LCD TV will cost $5M

  6. Ben Mathews

    This is insane!

    Do these people not have the opposable thumbs required to grip the controller?

  7. Daniel
    Thumb Down

    Can you say frivolous??

    At best this is a case for small claims court. You have a 52 in Samsung valued at less than $2000 dollars and you are suing for $5,000,000. I think someone is looking for a payday.

    At the end of the day it is lawsuits like this that gum up the legal system. If anything I believe this woman should be fined and jailed for even wasting the legal systems time with this crap.

    It is high time that the the courts be used for more useful things... Um let's saw actually enforcing the law rather than being the pathway for some white trash mothers financial windfall.

    I guess she did not take advantage of Nintendo's gel cover for the Wii controller. I guess her young son is a pretty strong kid to break a tv with a 3 ounce piece of plastic that should have been wrapped in soft silicon.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WiiTards

    I don't understand this problems. My family has had the Wii since it first came out and we have never had a problem of a remote go flying.

    Why do people let go of the remote in the first place? I don't even use the wrist strap as I can count on not letting go of the remote to keep it in place.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    WOW

    And there I was thinking you were meant to hold on to the Remote. Surely you are doing it wrong if you a flinging your arms around so hard you let go of the remote and it manages to break a TV...

    Paris manages to hold on even in the most energetic situations...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of BS

    I always go commando on the Wii as the wrist strap is annoying. You've got to be some sort of uber fucktard to swing with enough force to not only hurl the remote 6foot or more but to make it that distance and it still have enough energy left to cause damage...Maybe that woman shouldnt have smoked when she was pregnant, then she wouldn't have had retarded children.

  11. Gary
    Thumb Down

    Too stupid

    If you're too stupid to be swinging the Wii remote around like a mad [wo]man, you deserve for your TVs to be broken. I have a Wii, and don't even use the stupid strap, because once you realize that the motion sensor works better with smaller movements than large movements, you're no more likely to have it flying toward the screen than with any other control input.

  12. Richard

    I'd like $3m too!

    To compensate me for the mental anguish caused by owning a console that doesn't get any good games. It has warped my fragile little mind.

  13. Dan White
    Flame

    Translation...

    1) My idiot child broke something / I tripped and fell into the TV.

    2) I don't have contents insurance / They wouldn't pay up.

    3) I want money to prove it wasn't my fault / Waaah! Pay me, pay me, I'm not a retard who can't read instructions...

    $5m would buy a seriously impressive TV. WTF was it made of, diamonds?!

  14. Bassey

    Grump

    Looks like Mrs Grumpy didn't get her Christmas Bonus this year and so is fishing around for other sources of funds.

  15. Xander
    Thumb Down

    Bullshit

    Most of us here have played Wii bowling. You do *not* move your arms fast enough to send a wiimote hurtling at such a speed to break your TV.

    I suspect terrible parenting * e numbers resulted in a temper tantrum and the stupid bitch is just trying to cash in.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Nonsense

    So, let me get this straight. This woman is suing Nintendo because her son doesn't have the wits to not let the wii remote go?

    If he's that negligent, I'd be willing to bet he wasn't even wearing the strap! (Have fun proving that!)

    And while 52" TVs are expensive, isn't $5m just a tad overkill?

    This is stupid. Might as well claim that Samsung didn't make the TV strong enough, or that the Wii remote should be made of felt.

    Please let this grasping woman lose and have to pay court fees.

    I'm now just waiting for someone to do something really stupid and then try to sue some religious organisation since whatever god they believe in obviously made them that stupid.

  17. Tim

    Backup.

    If you're holding onto the remote it CAN'T go through your tv in the first place. The strap is there as backup to ensure if you release the remote it doesn't fly off. If put on properly the force needed to break them is huge. Her tv got broken, she should claim it on accidental damage insurance rather that filing a law suit.

  18. Martin Lyne

    Nope..

    I can't find any Samsung TVs on Amazon for circa £3.3mil.

    Oh there is a link to greedy compensation culturists.

    Throwing knives is dangerous, they don't even come with straps.

  19. Adam
    Unhappy

    So let me get this straight...

    So she wants to sue for $5M. For a broken telly?

    Or is she suing for something that hasn't happened, but possibly might happen at some point in the future?

    No TV is worth $5M, and if she's that worried perhaps she shouldn't use the Wii? It's not something she NEEDS... it's a games console, not a kidney dialysis machine fer chrissakes!!!

  20. Andrew
    Stop

    Another stupid American

    Seriously, how can she be taken seriously? Why not sue shoe manufacturers too? I'm sure if you flung your shoe at full force at the telly repeatedly while holding onto only the lace, the lace would eventually break.

    Does that mean the shoe manufacturer broke your telly?

    And 5 million dollars?? For a broken telly?? Seriously. When can we build that wall to stop them getting out?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flaw

    if the plastic loop has a nick in it (from being folded or having something heavy sat on it or something) the stress concentrations could go through the roof and cause it to snap.

    Of course, it's then that user-damaged equipment that's causing the damage so Nintendo's probably not liable.

  22. Nursing A Semi
    Dead Vulture

    Just me?

    Is it just me that wishes I lived somewhere that had liberal laws on gun ownership when I read of these lawsuits?

    Her child broke her TV while swinging a console controller around and she wants 5 Mil from Nintendo?

    /me loads shotgun and then wanders off muttering "I am the angel of death and the time of purification is at hand".

  23. Steven
    Stop

    $5m

    gee is that how much a Samsung telly costs these days...

    Not being funny but isn't the strap a second measure to actually holding the controler in your hand in the first place, grip it's a magical thing.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Money grabbing

    Don't get me wrong - smashing up a new TV would irritate me but IIRc the wii's accelerometer only registers up to 3g - which wouldn't scratch the TV with such a lightweight controller - she should teach her son to use some restraint instead.

  25. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    No grip?

    And just why are people relying upon the strap? I would suspect that a person would HOLD the remote firmly. From my own experience and observation, if you are putting out so much force as to project the thing away from you, then you probably have special needs.

    Paris, she has "special needs."

  26. Simon Cresswell
    Coat

    Were they...

    ...designed by a Scotsman?

  27. Walter
    Paris Hilton

    Don't throw it!

    Even if I didn't use the strap I wouldn't put the controller through my television, because I don't throw it around. The Wii strap isn't defective, the gamer is.

  28. Dave Edmondston
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm...

    ...and blowing a telly justifies $5m because?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    dumbass

    The strap really doesn't come into play if you remember DO NOT LET GO OF THE FECKIN THING.

    Anyone dumb enough to swing the remote around on just the strap alone is asking for trouble, as they used to say when I was a kid "you'll put someone's eye out with that".

  30. Marc Goldman
    Thumb Down

    Please explain...

    Okay, I can imagine being pissed off that my 52" TV got killed by a Wiimote. But why does that give her the right to sue for £3 million? I can see getting a new TV, something on top for time wasted and legal costs. But surely that's only a few thousand pounds??

    Or does it mean if she wins the case she buys everyone else with a broken TV a new one?

  31. Sampler
    Paris Hilton

    Well if you're stupid enough to let go..

    Then you're probably stupid enough to try and sue someone else for your own incompetence.

    And stupid enough to be an American where they'll probably uphold it.

    Paris - because she's stupid enough for a lot of things...

  32. TimM

    says everything

    From the class action:

    "so one of the girls in particular really was having a good time, and really got into this game, and she was going for the full arcing motionslike you see in those commercials

    … and …before you knew it this Remote,with strap on, and I made sure that bad boy was strapped to her wrist, because Nintendo’s warned me so many times. It actually flew out of her hand anyway, broke, out of her hand, the strap actually ripped, it went like this, flying at mach speed I think, BAM!, hit our wall, put an indent in our wall."

    Hmm, yeah. "Mach speed" !

    That was just an example this woman has dug up from a web site to boost her case (can't see text like the above standing up in a UK court, but hey, this is America we're talking about), but her own case smacks of someone's telly got bust "somehow" (was she in the room when her kid did the damage and blamed it on the Wii?), and spots an opportunity through the "Sue Everyone" Legal System of America. Probably because their insurance company wasn't going to pay up.

    No icon due to lack of "rolleyes".

  33. Jamie
    Linux

    IDIOT

    I own a WII and first thing is if you are going to swing something around then make sure you grip it. Second who is her son, the worlds strongest man to bust the strap and cause the wiimote to fly into a TV and bust it.

    Definite con to get money.

  34. Rob Beard
    Paris Hilton

    Bandwagon

    Ahh just another 'concerned' parent jumping on the bandwagon. I'd be surprised if the wrist strap did actually break, and in any case, she should have made she she had one of the FREE silcon covers that Nintendo were giving away to Wii owners (and which are included with every Wiimote now anyway).

    I've had friends over playing with my Wii (2nd generation wrist strap without the silicon cover) and I've not had a wrist strap break at all no matter how hard I fling the thing about. The only way I'm likely to do any damage is either if I stand too close to the TV and hit the screen (but if I'm that close the Wiimote doesn't work as it can't pick up the sensor bar) or if someone else is standing close - I haven't hit anyone yet although I have been hit by my daughter playing Wii Sports.

    Maybe Nintendo should supply a cat with every Wiimote and have a notice on there - if you can't swing the cat in 360 degrees successfully without actually hitting something, then don't use a Wiimote. :-)

    Rob

    P.S. I really do love cats, I have 7 of them!

  35. Master Baker
    Thumb Down

    Easy

    Don't buy or use a wii. If you've bought one then take it back.

    The consumers are not the 'victims' here. They choose to use the wii, so fuck them.

    I'd like to see companies in America start sueing consumers for 'being defective'.

    Oh my straps broke because I'm violently swinging the remote at the TV.... hmmm... it's not my fault. I'm a victim. I could make some $$ here and buy some more hamburgers to fuel my McDonalds-created fat-arse... (nothing to do with me eating all this food. McDonalds made me fat. I'm the victim... I should sue them...).

    Dickheads.

  36. James Robertson

    silly claim

    should be able to claim for a new TV, but nothing more than that, thats all thats been damaged after all.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (facepalm)

    It's called don't let go of the damn wiimote!

  38. andrew wavey
    Stop

    People will do anything

    Wow, americans will sue for just about anything these days. If you choose to buy games that cause you to swing the wiimote then you risk slipping it one time or another. and if you are swing that thing so hard that it would cause the strap to break, then maybe you should rethink your gaming habits. You don't see baseball players suing bat companies for bats that go flying out of there hands when they swing, why should this be any different.

    Nintendo should just put out an at your own risk terms of use and have people accept it on there machine to play it. if they choose not to the wii should restrict certain games until it's accepted. also they need something stating that no liability will be held against them if such an accident occurs. Come on people, stop buying shit if you think it's faulty. Give the gaming companies a break.

    Go play kick the can

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh no...

    GET A BLOODY GRIP !!!!

  40. Rachel

    I hope she isn't serious...

    So let me get this straight - the woman is suing Nintendo for $5 MILLION because her big TV (which probably cost $4000 tops) was broken? I can understand suing for the cost of the TV, and maybe a bit more to cover lawyer fees and such, or a lawsuit of that size if her kid had suffered severe injuries as a result of a flying Wii controller, but what she's doing is an attempt to use the legal system as a high-priced lottery with good odds...

  41. Christopher Martin

    Bullshit.

    It's a tiny little piece of fabric/plastic. You'd have to be a fool to expect it to hold up to a lot of abuse. Nintendo never guaranteed that you could repeatedly to try throw the thing and expect it to hold. You're supposed to HOLD ON to the controller, and the strap is there in case you happen to drop it. My remote straps look like they're new. If they're worn... you're doing something wrong. And it's especially clear that you're an idiot if you manage to break it playing the bowling game. Bowling requires no fast-twitch motion. You'd have to deliberately drop the remote.

    I think it would be safer not to include a strap at all - or perhaps they should include a metal wiihandcuff for wankers who can't remember that they're not really throwing a bowling ball.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its funny

    Basic physics refutes her argument. Simply apply weight to a wii wrist strap until it breaks in order to calculate tensile strength. You'll find that they're quite hard to break. You'd certainly need to use far more force than any game would realistically require you exert, given how crappy the sensors in the remote are.

  43. Ross Aitken

    One expensive telly

    $5 million for a TV? She needs to shop around.

  44. jacob
    Thumb Down

    maybe another *-tard

    maybe lititard?

    Is it really so hard to work out how to *not* fling a "wii-mote" through your tv?

    Obviously it must be Nintendo's fault that your uncoordinated kid flails his arms about like a mentally deficient orangutan and can't hold on to the controller.

  45. Piro
    Thumb Down

    What the hell

    I've played on the Wii plenty of times, and never used the strap, but I have used the big condom Nintendo gave out.

    Give Nintendo a break. Why doesn't she sue the manufacturer of every single item in her house that isn't bolted down, since it's a possible projectile. If you're throwing the damn wiimote so hard and have such a loose grip on it you toss it with force to break your TV, you're an idiot and Nintendo should hold no responsibility. Oh, and DANGEROUS? There's no way in hell the strap is dangerous.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need evidence

    The court should set up a 52" tv and wii console inside the court room and let the kid play the game as he would at home to prove that it was either a "defective" strap or the kid being violently stupid.

    Or it could have been the mother throwing something at the kid to shut him up, missed and hit the tv.

  47. stooz

    thats an expensive telly

    Why do americans always find a way to sue even when its their own fault?

    I dont care if the strap is rubbish or not, if you throw things toward your oversized TV, then let go , guess what - its your fault.

    and if your tv cost £5 million to replace - your a sucker in the first place ;)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Why it's $5m

    I see a lot of comments that $5m is expensive for a telly. Let me explain:

    It's a class action.

    In USA, lawyers often work on a percentage - e.g. 33% of the damages awarded. For a (say) $2000 TV, her lawyer might get $700 - not really worth his while for such a longshot case. (The Mom would get $1300, and I think she might have to pay court costs and maybe expert witness costs too, so she might get less or nothing).

    But if you make it a class action then you're suing on behalf of everyone who's thrown their Wii remote through their telly, so if you think there are about 2500 similar people then you can sue for $5m. This gives the lawyers $1.7m, and as "lead plaintiff" the Mom might get a cut in the $x0,000 range. Everyone else who's bust their TV due to throwing their Wii remote through it might get $1300 or so (or maybe just a new wriststrap and a free download of a Wii game "worth $49" - no-one really cares about them). It's still a longshot, but if it works at least it's a lucrative longshot. And since the risk to Nintendo is much higher, there's a much better chance that Nintendo will settle and pay some money rather than risking going before an unpredictable jury.

  49. stooz

    blame the lawyers

    it sint the stupidity of the claimant, its the american legal system. a british lawyer wouldnt take up the case, it wouldnt make it through due dilegence procedures, and therefore not get filed a s a legitimate claim, thats what it is for.

    You are responsible for your own actions. If you thought the strap wasnt sufficient - you shouldnt have used it and returned it to the shop.

    good grief america, sort your system out! leave manafacturers alone when it is blatantly not its fault.

  50. The Avangelist
    Flame

    ihadthatproblemaswell

    thisiswhatapostlookslikewithoutanythumbsbecauseihavenothumbtopressshiftorspace.ialsobrokemytvbecausewithoutthumbsicannotgripwithanythingexceptthepalmofmyhandwhichafterawhilegetssweatyandilosetraction

  51. wsm

    Basic physics

    Let's see, add the force necessary to break the strap to the force necessary to send the wii-mote across the room to the said television, then figure up the force times mass to equal the energy needed to damage the same.

    NASA should hire this kid to throw things into orbit!

    Even if the wii-mote could ruin the TV when hurled at it, there is the question of why the screen was so fragile. Better ask another $20m from the TV manufacturer for the emotional distress caused by the loss of SpongeBob viewing.

  52. Captain Thyratron
    Joke

    Possible outcomes

    A wiimote made of diamond, the world's strongest metal, collides with a 52" plasma TV made of the world's strongest metal, diamond.

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

    A. Wiimote breaks; lawsuit.

    B. TV breaks; lawsuit.

    C. Mutual appliance destruction occurs; lawsuit.

    D. Harmless wiimote deflection occurs, unless the wiimote is deflected into something of less robust construction (such as a lamp, a parakeet, or someone who sues people when she's bored), in which case, lawsuit.

    E. Diamond is not a metal--also, lawsuit.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read between the lines

    "Class Action" is just another name for lawyers fees. The $5,000,000 won't go very far when it is split up between all the members of the class - maybe enough for a new strap :-)

    The kicker is the small print at the end of the complaint - $5M exclusive of expert fees and costs. I wouldn't be surprised if the fees end up being just as much and only going to the law firm.

  54. Graham Marsden
    Stop

    $5m...

    ... will that be enough to buy her a brain...?

  55. James Pickett

    I expect...

    ..that's why the Wii shows a warning every time you switch it on, although I suppose that assumes the user can read...

  56. Christopher Martin

    @jacob

    I think "wiitard" is the obvious choice in this case.

  57. Rick Brasche
    Stop

    I took the straps and safety condom off mine

    because it was a pain in the arse to get the remotes in and out of the PerfectShot pistol shell for shooting games. We've done marathon wii baseball games, had friends over for hours while playing the various Wii bowling titles.

    The first judge that comes up to this case should first throw the case out. Then he should require Child Protective Services to investigate her son's situation. Either his mother is unable to properly raise a "special needs" child, or is putting her son at risk by raising him in such a con-artist, exploitative home. Thirdly, charge her for all expenses incurred for both the court and Nintendo.

    Make an example out of these blatant, obvious frivolous lawsuits.

  58. James O'Brien
    Alert

    WTF??

    Why are all the posts so broken on this page today?

  59. James O'Brien
    Coat

    On a side note

    I play Racquetball and you can switch the racket quite hard in that I have NEVER A) Had a strap break for that, B) thrown a racket. WTF is her son doing with the remote that would cause this? Only time I have ever let go of the racket is when I was smacked in the back of the head with the ball (HARD) or another racket came down on my hand (which hurts). As for NASA hiring this idiots spawn maybe we should just put him over in Iraq and let him do the security work. If he can throw things that hard they wouldnt mess with him.

    Hell I rub them out with more force then you can get on the remote and I havent ripped it off yet.....

    /mines the one with the blue balls in it.....NO NOT THOSE BLUE BALLS.

  60. Stephen

    I let my wiimote go..

    I have to admit, I have let the wiimote go before. But the thing is, this was after multiple pints and some aftershock... Without this, there's no excuse! Even still, it didn't hit the TV and if it did, the force woulda just bounced off. What the hell was this kid doing?

  61. James Woods

    this is stupid

    We file court documents with hyperlinks in them now? I wanted to read the entire article but stopped after see'ing URL links and also information related to 'defendants' that aren't listed in the doc. I've never in my life seen a court document filed with a plaintiff "and others similar" or however that was written. That's equal to going into a traffic ticket case saying well me and 5000 other drivers have also ran into this same thing.....

    Come on, how old was the kid, was proof provided the wii was purchased legally, was proof shown these idiots are competent enough to even control themselves with a gaming system. This is utter nonsense and it's the kind of crap that makes us americans looks like idiots.

    The courts will take a case like this while we might have an illegal alien as a president or at least one that's not qualified to be the president, that kind of case isn't imortant, it's important to know who's throwing wii controllers around.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    it's not the wiitard...

    it's the bloodsucking, ambulance-chasing parasitic organisms known in the US as attorneys that run the figure up to $5 mil. There's not a thing in America that doesn't cost twice what it should because of these scum-sucking wastes of human skins. First we let 'em pull stunts like this, then we send 'em to Washington DC to run the joint. We get what we deserve, I guess...

  63. g e

    If only ambulances would drive a little faster

    Then the lazy fat witless whitetrash trailerpark compentard yanks might at least lose a little fucking weight chasing them that little bit harder.

    I bet she already successfully claimed for a new TV too and just wants more. Greedy bitch.

  64. Rob
    Heart

    Lol Whut ?

    Has anyone played Wii bowling ?

    Its a game that requires gentle subtle controller usage to allow for maximum

    accuracy......or something like that.

    My point is, what kind of physcopath plays wii bowling by hurling the remote so hard

    it could smash a tv ? The child obviously needs a good slap.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Counter sue

    Go on Nintendo, counter sue for <insert some clever reason from lawyers> and slam this idiot into the ground. Only when someone has everything taken away from them and people realize their is a downside (its a gamble after all) will these stupid lawsuits stop.

    Paris, well because she is a blithering idiot as well.

  66. Andus McCoatover

    Re:Why are all the posts so broken on this page today?

    Wondered the same...Works on Explorer, overly long lines in Firefox.

    Odd...Same stylesheet as other posts, I guess...

  67. AC
    Thumb Up

    @ Just me? Friday 12th December 2008 14:54 GMT

    Funny, I was thinking of refering back to my previous comment about shooting those clucking funts making that malware and saying how I'd like to extend the remit to shooting stupid bitches like this one.

    Gene pool cleansing, it's for the greater good.

  68. James Hughes

    Crayons...

    My 3 year old drew on my brand new Series 6 Samsung LCD telly with wax crayons, two days after it arrived.

    Can I sue the crayon manufacturers?

  69. Jamie Kephalas
    Black Helicopters

    @Daniel

    The 1st release Wii-motes did not come with the silicon surround.

    But still, retard!

    The 'White' Nintendo helis should make this woman dissapear.

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